There is a movement across the country to try and regulate crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) and require them to place signs out front explaining that they do not provide abortions nor give out referrals to abortion providers.
CPCs, which are almost entirely run by anti-abortion religious activists, many of whom are almost as interested in converting the women who come through the doors to Christianity as they are “saving” the fetus that is inside her, routinely set up next door to women’s health clinics in order to take advantage of clients who get their directions confused or step into the wrong building. With proper signage, women would know before they enter the door that if they were seeking an abortion, they were in the wrong office, and only those who are seeking to continue their pregnancies would go in.
Apparently, not being allowed to trick women into entering the building and be talked out of ending the pregnancy is a violation of freedom of speech, or so claims CPCs in Baltimore, Maryland. And now a judge agrees.
Via the Baltimore Sun:
Baltimore drew national attention 14 months ago with the legislation, sponsored by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake when she was City Council president, that required the centers to post signs saying that they don’t refer clients for abortions or birth control.
In a decision issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis wrote that the requirement violates the centers’ constitutional right to free speech. Ruling in a lawsuit brought against the city by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and a counseling center it supports, he declared the ordinance “unenforceable.”
It somehow violate free speech to ask a clinic to explain up front that they will not be providing abortions or birth control, despite the fact that a majority of the women entering the building are looking for just those services. However, multiple states have been forced by legislators to require doctors who are performing abortions to recite scripts to women, telling them misleading “facts” like abortion causes breast cancer, abortion could cause pain to a fetus, or that abortion will “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”
Apparently freedom of speech is dependent on whether a woman is intending to continue her pregnancy or not.